Thursday, January 21, 2010
By Charles Ferndale
On 10th Jan 10, BBC 2 aired a program dealing with the question of whether or not Osama bin Laden is dead or alive. During an hour long program many views were aired, all of which failed to answer the question conclusively. This should surprise no one, because, as in any murder investigation, the only conclusive proof that someone is dead is the discovery of the person’s body. If Osama bin Laden is dead, it is most unlikely that his body will ever be found and, until it is, we can only argue on the basis of probabilities. And the balance of probabilities strongly favours the hypothesis that he is dead and has been dead for a very long time, probably since December 2001
I shall not discuss here all the arguments for and against his probable death. These are discussed lucidly and with cautious honesty by David Ray Griffin in his book Osama bin Laden--Dead or Alive?
I shall concern myself here with only one argument which, so far, no one seems to have considered.
US intelligence officials base the claim that Bin Laden was at the caves of Tora Bora in December 2001 on intercepted mobile phone conversations emanating from that region. Ever since the bombing of the Tora Bora caves, Osama bin Laden’s voice has never again been heard from a source that can be trusted. According to Robert Bauer, an ex-member of the CIA, at least half of the US intelligence community concerned with this issue believe Osama was killed during the bombing at Tora Bora. I suspect the percentage is higher. My argument is simple: if he was in the Tora Bora complex when it was bombed in December 2001, then he certainly died during that bombing, because nothing living could have survived it.
I still believe that he died at Tora Bora. Other AQ heavyweights put out videos that are authentic and digital and clear. If Osama was alive he would be taunting us all the time. He had quite an ego, and he would use it.
David Ray Griffin was quoted and linked in this quote. David Ray Griffin thinks that the United States Government knows Bin Laden is dead and that the Bush Administration was behind the fake tapes. That is not the belief held by this blogger. I was not a huge fan of Bush (though Obama has made me actually miss him). George Bush was a big spender but in the end I believe a fine and decent man.
I think we should dress the Gitmo prisoners up in Pashtun garb and drop them from a plane on a fabricated Afghan villiage on the Paki-Afghan border. Then we should fake some Bin Laden DNA and say that we discovered the village that he was hiding in and killed him and all of his terrorist pals. Obama can take some victory laps and we can all go home from Afghanistan.
BBC: Is Osama Bin Laden dead or alive?
Bruce Riedel, who chaired President Barack Obama's Afghanistan/Pakistan policy review, and who has seen the intelligence on Bin Laden, says the trail has not so much gone cold as "frozen over".
"We don't have a clue where he is," he says.
One former CIA agent also questions its authenticity. Robert Baer dismisses the suggestion of a conspiracy by Western intelligence but thinks that al-Qaeda may have faked the video.
"[al-Qaeda has] an interest in manipulating it to look like current tapes," he says. "You can digitally manipulate voice to say anything. You can change months, years, you can tape vowels and syllables and put it into a recording and change it."
Do the Fake Bin Laden Videos Prove he is Dead?
my vote goes to Bin Laden being dead. The photos before 9/11 showed a very sickly person and it is not likely that he could have jumped around the mountains carrying a dialysis machine evading the most sophisticated intelligence and technology for nearly a decade.
ABC News: Hunt for Osama Over? Obama Steers Clear of Bin Laden References
Some conspiracy theorists have said the U.S. government created the most recent bin Laden tapes. Others have dismissed his tapes as fake, but no one has been able to say with certainty if the world's most-wanted terrorist is still alive.Sphere: Related Content